There’s more to Louisiana than New Orleans and the French Quarter where Creole culture reigns supreme. Head about half an hour west over the Manchac Swamp Bridge, one of the longest over-water bridges in the world, and you’ll find yourself in the Louisiana bayou amongst alligators and other wildlife that call the Manchac Swamp home. This is Cajun country.
In the mid-1700s, Acadians who lived in present-day Nova Scotia, The Maritimes, and parts of Quebec and Maine, were forced by the Brits to leave their homes during an event known as the Great Expulsion which occurred during the French and Indian War. Once banished, many Acadians made their way to Lower Louisiana and settled the region, creating their own unique Cajun French dialect, cuisine, and music. The Acadians were explorers, adventurers, and outdoorsmen which makes perfect sense considering the unadulterated terrain that is the Manchac Swamp.
One could be easily deceived by the serenity of these swamp waters which are lined by moss-draped cypress trees. These waters look placid, but if you could drain the swamp dry, on the swamp’s floor you’d find hundreds of gators trying to keep warm and patiently waiting for the sun to sufficiently heat the water’s surface so they can catch a breather and bask in its rays.
Hoping to catch a glimpse of some of the swamp’s gators in action, we booked a tour with Cajun Pride Swamp Tours and embarked on a mid-morning adventure into the unknown. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any gargantuan gators like some of those pictured on the tour company’s website, but we did manage to spot a few in addition to some of the other wildlife that live in the area.
Here, I’m sharing some images of our journey into the Louisiana bayou…
*To learn more about Cajun Pride Swamp Tours, click here.
Have you ever ventured into the swamps and bayous of Louisiana?